The reality about women in technology and the obstacles they face, is that in order for change, men have to get on-board. They have to come to bat for their female coworkers to affect this change and prove that issues affecting women in the workplace affect men as well, resulting in the loss of some serious potential

It’s time for a change. And it starts now.

Below, we’ve compiled one of the most powerful, compelling TED Talk to inspire women in technology. It’s delivered by legendary woman in tech talking about the ways she persevered and uplifted other women. The talk contains also an emotional call to action that pullq at the heartstrings.

Throughout her talk, Sheryl Sandberg touches the problems that women face at work and the obstacles holding them back. But it was a rousing statement that prompted applause and cheers from the female members of the audience.

“Success and likability are positively correlated for men and negatively correlated for women,” she says, encapsulating and confirming the fact that women in the workplace have long-known to be true. Being likable and successful is difficult, if not entirely impossible in workplace environments where the glass ceiling is so low, women can only crawl towards equality.

The data comes from a Harvard Business School study, where a simple gendered name change generated different “likability” results for a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley. Howard won out over the Heidi, who was seen as aggressive and “out for herself.”

In the ten years since its delivery, Sandberg’s talk has changed the conversation about women in the tech workplace .. placing gender equality at the forefront and encouraging millions of female professionals around the world to speak up, affirm their presence, and yes, even ask for that raise. An accompanying book, Lean In, came into the mix in 2013, spreading her call far and wide.

It’s a philosophy that brings women to the table, a demographic that already makes up “85% of purchasing decisions… making women the largest single economic force not just in the United States, but in the world.”

According to a 2013 study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women already make up “57.2% of the labor force” with women also now outnumbering men at colleges and universities. Women are a driving force of the economy and will be a driving force in the workplace. The real question here is whether you’ll tap into their potential or risk being left behind.

What to do: There’s a lot of complexities at play . Meaning that effective workplace solutions will also be complicated and layered. But that doesn’t mean breaking down the walls of inequality is impossible. It just means you have to be strategic and employ multiple methods of tackling these problems to create more inclusive workspaces for women in tech.

We know. It’s daunting. Even Sandberg admitted that she doesn’t have all the answers. But as a woman in tech you don’t have to go through this alone.

After the release of her famous female call to action, Sandberg also began an accompanying nonprofit,, where women and managers can find the tips and resources to close the gender leadership gap.  

Also, if you’re interested in the Lean In aftermath, check out Sandberg’s follow-up TED Talk here.


What inspirational quotes or moments have inspired you as a woman in tech? Let us know in the comments below.